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cmarcus 06-03-2009 01:54 PM

Restored from backup with Migration Assistant - now have many folders at root level?
My MacBook Air recently needed a hard drive replacement. I was able to make a full SuperDuper backup before it went in to the shop. When it came back I erased the new hard drive, did a clean install of OS X 10.5.7, then launched Migration Assistant and used it to migrate all my files from the SuperDuper backup to the hard drive.

That process all went smoothly (thanks SuperDuper!) but when it was over I had many more folders on the root level of my hard drive than I'd had before. Here are all the names of the folders:


Some of these are familiar to me and I'd like them to stay (Applications, Library, System, Users) but the rest are unfamiliar. I'm guessing I shouldn't delete those folders, right? What should I do to get the root level of my new hard drive looking like the root level of my old hard drive?

dnanian 06-03-2009 02:28 PM

Definitely do not delete those folders: they're all critical. I'm a bit surprised that your clean install of OSX -- which would have been what created all those folders -- would have made them visible.

Are you sure you haven't turned on invisible files in Finder?

cmarcus 06-03-2009 02:31 PM

I should have been more clear - after the clean OS X install the folders were not there - they appeared after Migration Assistant moved my user from the SuperDuper backup to my hard drive.

Sounds like "show invisible folders" got turned on some how - any tip on how I turn it back off?

dnanian 06-03-2009 02:34 PM

Did you migrate at the first startup, or did you migrate after you had created your account? If the latter, I'd really recommend you redo this...

cmarcus 06-03-2009 02:38 PM

Here were my steps:

1. Boot MacBook Air from OS X retail DVD
2. Run Disk Utility and erase hard drive in MacBook Air (with zero overwrite, just to be sure : )
3. Install Mac OS X from DVD
4. Book MacBook Air from hard drive
5. Create user "test" during first boot
6. Log in as Test as run software update - install all updates
7. Restart
8. Log in as Test
9. Run Migration Assistant and migrate user "Cooper" from SuperDuper backup volume
10. Restart
11. Log in as Cooper
12. Delete user Test

Isn't this the correct procedure to "start fresh" with a clean OS X install?

Everything is working fine now, except I'd like those extra folders to be hidden - I hope I don't have to start that process over - it took hours!

dnanian 06-03-2009 03:04 PM

The problem is that your UID/User ID might be different on the new volume than it was on the old one. For other users who might be reading this -- do not do it this way. Migrate when first prompted to "Copy from another Mac" during the first boot after install.

Anyway, I don't know why these folders would become visible on you, especially since you just migrated, and never ran SuperDuper at all (not that running SuperDuper! would do this).

You can set a 'hidden' attribute for each folder if you have the Developer Tools installed. If so, use


sudo SetFile -a v path-to-the-file
That removes the 'visible' attribute from the file you specify.

cmarcus 06-03-2009 03:06 PM

I was reluctant to migrate during the first boot after OS X install from the DVD because the version of OS X on the DVD is older than the version on the SuperDuper backup volume.

I thought that trying to migrate a user from an newer version of Mac OS X to an older version had the potential to cause problems - is this not the case? If not, then thanks, next time I do this I'll do it in the right order!

dnanian 06-03-2009 03:20 PM

Yeah, that doesn't really matter, because you're not migrating OS stuff, really -- you're migrating your applications and data. You can do the software updates right after.

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